9780867091052 / 0867091053

Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing


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Publisher:Heinemann, 1984



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About the book:

The argument of this book is that the earliest tradition of Western rhetoric, the classical perspective of Aristotle and Cicero, continues to have the greatest impact on writing instruction--albeit an unconscious impact. This occurs despite the fact that modern rhetoric no longer accepts either the views of mind, language, and world underlying ancient theory or the concepts about discourse, knowledge, and communication presented in that theory. As a result, teachers are depending on ideas as outmoded as they are unreflectively accepted.

Knoblauch and Brannon maintain that the two traditions are fundamentally incompatible in their assumptions and concepts, so that writing teachers must make choices between them if their teaching is to be purposeful and consistent. They suggest that the modern tradition offers a richer basis for instruction, and they show what teaching from that perspective looks like and how it differs from traditional teaching.

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